Due to the nature of many of the software programs used in architecture, students are encouraged to use Windows computers. We do not recommend the use of Macs in this program.
One of the most important things to prioritize is RAM (more cores, more power). RAM (random access memory or, commonly, “memory”) enhances your computer’s ability to multitask, an important function as you learn to use a variety of architecture and creative software. More CPU cores can increase the speed of computing complex renderings or analysis.
The School of Architecture recommends a laptop with the following:
- Minimum 6-core Intel i7 Processor; purchase Intel i9 or Xeon if possible
32 GB of RAM
- 1 TB Solid State Drive (SSD) for OS and applications
- 15” display with a minimum resolution of 1920 x 1080
- Use of cloud storage such as the university-provided OneDrive to store your work
*Please note: Some of the rendering software (including Revit) that students will use for their studio work will only work with Windows. Apple silicon-based Macs (M1, M2, M1 Pro, etc.) do not run Windows and are not compatible with Revit and other applications commonly used in the program.
- An external mouse.
- A 64 GB USB flash drive.
- A 21” or larger external monitor is helpful but not required.
- We recommend storing your data in a cloud service such as Microsoft OneDrive. This ensures you’ll be able to access your files wherever you are, and even if your computer is out of service for any reason. (Northeastern provides free access to Microsoft OneDrive) Cloud backup systems such as Backblaze are also recommended.
- An extended manufacturer’s warranty or other service arrangement, with accidental damage coverage, is highly recommended. You are responsible for maintaining your own computer.
If you have questions regarding computers/software, please contact the Northeastern University help desk at 617.373.HELP.
The School of Architecture is committed to using software that is widely used in the architecture industry, and available for student use. The Adobe Creative Cloud suite allows students to manipulate graphics, transform images and prepare projects for presentations. Please purchase the most current versions of the following software programs by the first day of class:
Adobe Creative Cloud Student Edition
Northeastern University provides a license for Adobe Creative Cloud for as long as you’re enrolled as a student. Details are here:
Autodesk AutoCAD Architecture
Autodesk provides free access to most of their software for educational use: https://www.autodesk.com/education/free-software/featured